Friday, March 14, 2008

Prayer

As I have mentioned before, one of the greatest comforts for me these past few months has been the opportunity to pray for other people. Over the past 9 weeks, I have literally received hundreds (maybe thousands) of comments and emails asking me to pray for others who are going through difficult times of their own.

It has been an honor and a blessing to pray for each one, and I have tried to personally respond to every email that has been sent and view every blog/website link that I've been pointed to.

Many of those same comments and emails have also asked that I post a link to these other people who need prayer. And, back when I wasn't getting an average of 250 comments and 50 emails a day, I was happy and able to so.

Unfortunately, because of the huge number of these requests, I had to make the decision several weeks ago to not post any of the links because I do not have the time and energy to post them all, and I can't post just a few because that would cause serious problems. The prayers that I do post now are from and/or about people that I know personally.

I do want you to know that I read every single comment and every single email, and try to respond to every email as best I can. If you send me an email asking for prayer, and I do not respond, it is almost definitely because I do not receive it (and yes, I check my junk folder every day). And, I take the time to pray for every request.

My heart breaks and grieves with compassion and empathy for every story that I read, whether about an older adult or a young child, and it is very difficult for me to not feel guilty that I cannot post every single link.

I hope and pray that you can understand my situation and decisions about this topic. I have never once deleted a comment that has asked for prayer for another person (unless it also contained something offensive) because I know that many in my family, and many of my readers take a look at most if not all of the comments.

I believe that prayer is more than just a good vibe or a few kind words that might somehow mystically make a difference in somebody's life. I believe that prayer is the opportunity to talk with the God of the universe as if He were (and I believe that He is) sitting right beside me as a close friend. And, because of that, I believe that God hears and answers each and every one of my prayers.

Sometimes He answers in a way that I have wanted Him to, and other times He does not. But, even when His answer is not what I want or expect, every time He does answer, and it is always the best answer.

So, again, thank you, not only for giving me even more reason to forget about my own difficult situation, but for also giving me even more reason to spend time talking with the One who has made me and sustains me.

Thanks.

Nate

(Please, know that I am not posting this because of any one person's request for prayer...if you sent me a request recently, this has nothing to do with you.)

29 comments:

Amy said...

Thank you for the ones you have done a link to. It is an honor to be able to pray for others. It is also encouraging to see how God is using your family to draw others to Him!
Thanks for your dedication to Him!

ashleykristin said...

Thank you for that Nate. I now understand, and have to understand that you guys are still going through something really hard and don't have time to keep up with all of us crazy people on here checking your blog several times a day! :) Its like 1 vs. 1 million! LOL God bless you for praying for everyone, I know God hears EVERY prayer. Have a great weekend!
Your sister in Christ, Ashley Columbus, OH

Erin lee said...

totally understandable and i continue to pray for you.

inchristalone said...

I know sometimes it can be overwhelming, praying for each person who contacts you, I have been in that position too.. My morning and evening prayers consist of. Lord; there are so many hurting people, I cannot personally pray for them; You know exactly who and what their needs are, Please hear my cry. You are a magnificent. God.
Praying specifically for you and your families needs
Jill Butler
Lynchburg, VA

Paul and Christy said...

I have noticed a lot of people that ask for prayer. I try to say a prayer as I pass by the comment. I can't imagine keeping up with it all. I don't see how you read all the comments. This has to be bigger than you ever imagined. Your family comes first and that is the way it should be. It is great that you take time to pray for others though. That is a blessing for them and you. GOd is good.
Christy

Blessedw4mom said...

Nate, thank you for your prayers and thamk you for your posts. You have a real gift with words and it amazing how God is using your circumstances! I love your explination of prayer in this post ... and to think we have the honor an privaledge to converse with the creator of the universe ... hoe cool and overwelming is that!

Praying for you and for your family!

mom2izzyandallen said...

Well said as always.

Candi said...

Thank you for your beautiful words! I have yet to ask for a prayer but feel comforted knowing that you would if I asked you to. No one should expect you to post them all when you get so many comments and emails in a day. I still pray for your family daily and I send my love from Utah!

Love,
Candi

Kat said...

What a wonderul, God inspired post. I am so glad that God is using you the way that He is.

Though our lives are certianly differant, reading your blog is not only an inspiration, but it has helped me in my daily walk with Christ.

The fact that you took time to sign my blog also means a great deal to me, knowing how busy you are.

May God continue to bless you - which I know he will!

Carol said...

What you say is so understandable. I hope you realize that your gift to, I believe, many of us following your blog, is a firmer understanding of to just trust in God, and to talk to God. Things happen to loved ones in life all the time and many of us needed to see the faith and trust and appreciation of blessings that you and Tricia have, right now. Thanks.

The Gang's All Here! said...

Good for you! I'm a new reader, and I've been very impressed by your dedication to your readers and your network of supporters and encouragers. But I'm impressed also that you are so wise in setting up your boundaries and priorities. That lovely woman and your precious daughter deserve all your time and energies first and foremost. I know that doesn't mean you won't be praying - I've gathered that this is the kind of man you are. So, we your readers release you to that task! And we bless you in Jesus name!

colleen4 said...

Thanks for your explanation Nate. Personally, I like it when commenters are posting prayer requests, etc, in the comments, because then I can say a prayer for them as well/check out their blog, etc. I discovered Eva's amazing blog this way (when she posted her comment under the fraggle hat post!) and am still in awe with how God's using your blog to reach so many. I was blown away with her comment that she got the courage to go to church for the first time through you, Tricia and Gwyneth.

Continued prayers from Vancouver, BC,
Colleen

Beth said...

Nate,

I am Dale's cousin. Her mom says her and Tricia were at the CFL together. Her mom asked me to email you and ask for your prayers for Dale. She has decided to go home (I don't know if you knew that). She has been home since last Friday, and has her good and bad days. Please keep her and her family in your prayers, as we will keep your family in ours.

For those who don't know, Dale is 29 and was at Duke getting her second double lung transplant when Tricia was there working for her first. She has had a hard time of things, has gotten an infection, and feels like she has given all the fight she has, so decided to go home. Please keep her in your prayers.

Triplet Butterfly Wings said...

Here is a link to a prayer page. It was started by a family who had twin boys and lost one. Now they have hundreds of "friends" and type out a page of prayer requests everyday so others can pray. Many of the friends on their current page are children with cancer and on hospice. I think it would be wonderful for you to post it, since you get so many hits to your page. It would help others to get continuous prayer that you VERY understandably can not do all by yourself. It should give you a break, well at least for awhile.

http://asherandjacobsfriends.com/index.html

Teacher in the middle said...

Beautifully and thoughfully stated! I continue to lift you and your family to God and the others who have requested that you've left on here!

Thank you!

Heather Paulsen said...

You have to know it is an honor for us to pray for your wonderful family. I thank God for you and your testimony to many people. It's amazing this blog medium, but God is using it mightly! I pray many come to faith through your faithfulness to Him.

I think of you all often, I pray for you all often. I think of Gwyenth when I see my own kids, I wonder how I feel under all that pressure. I wonder if I could walk as upright and faithul as you and Trish. Thank you for your example!

Have a blessed weekend.

Trish said...

Nate, I've been lurking for a while and marvel at both your girls, they both are beautiful and both are miracles.

I also marvel at your faith. To be honest, I struggle a lot. My 8 year old niece died 2 years ago from a rare spinal tumor and to be honest, I didn't like the answer to my prayer and don't believe it's the right or best answer. How do you stay strong, keep your faith, believe even in adversity.

I know you have a ton going on, but just thought I'd ask. If you want email me at tjp62771(at)gmail(dot)com or you can respond on my blog.

Ann said...

I know this has nothing to do with what you are talking about but how are the other babies that you mentioned in nicu i remember the doctors had told one family that there wasn't anymore they could do, did he get better
I am so glad your wife and baby are doing so good

Mrs. Wilson said...

Oh wow dude. You always have a nice, non-offensive way of saying things that need to be said!

My goodness, I cannot imagine being in your position and being asked to pray for a bizillion other requests. I guess it's because you're a believer and maybe some readers aren't so they ask you. Maybe that's it.

I try to remember your girls (and you!) in my prayers.

You are but one man! You cannot do everything, and I think it's very wise of you to see that!

By the way, it makes me so happy to hear in previous posts that your wife gets to see (and hold!) your baby more now. I could not imagine being cut off from contact, and that must have been so difficult for her.

Hoping (and praying!) for good things for you three!

marcia said...

Nathan, thank you for such a thoughtful post! Thank you for being so very considerate of the feelings of others, and for extending God's love to everyone that crosses your path. Thank you for allowing us the absolute privilege of being able to pray very specifically for your family, and in some small way, perhaps bring that love of God full-circle back to you.

twin power mommy said...

Just wanted to say hello to you guys. Hope you are having a good day.
Thank you, once again, for choosing to share your lives with all of us out here in blogland. God is using your family for something so grand!
In His loving name...

Katie O said...

Hey Nathan,

I, too, can't even imagine keeping up with it all. I admire you in so MANY ways! It is completely understandable that you don't have the time or energy to handle all those requests. (Sure puts God's job of listening to ALL of us in a new light, huh?)

Anyway, I just thought I would let you know what a cancer mom that I know of did when she was bombarded with prayer requests from others. She created a totally separate "Prayer Page" where bloggers could post their requests. She has one simple link from her page to that one. Anyone who feels led to go there and either post or pray can do so and it doesn't require much upkeep from her. Of course she prays over each one as well. (Just a thought.) Certainly no pressure from me! You just do what's best for you guys and especially what God calls you to do. I know you will!

God Bless all three of you richly!

Mike and Jenn said...

Definitely understandable, Nate. We're still praying for you all...
~Jenn

Susan from Barrie said...

I pray that God Blesses you Nathan with all your hopes and dreams. Thank you for your beautiful heart. Continuing to pray in Barrie ....

Olivia said...

I know you really enjoy making videos and showing what God has done in your life. I think it is a great way to express the joy and sorrow of these past months. I am not sure if you ever heard of Bethany Dillon but her song "Hallelujah" might be something that gives you inspiration. It's not country that's for sure! Blessings to you, Tricia, and Gwenyth. As always we are praying for you here in hot 87 degree Texas.

I_LUV_MY_KIDZ said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and i want to say you and your wife tricia and your daughter gwenyth are amazing people....they strength that you guys have is not even enough for words....Your daughter and wife are unbelievable...reading this blog makes me appreciate what i have so much more....when i get mad at my husband or kids i think you know what tricia is going thru so much right now and she does it with a smile....so i stop and relax and realize how much worse it can be and for that i am thankful to your family...And you as her husband are amazing you can see all the love you fel for her the way you stick by her every single day...you truly are husband of the century not YEAR the CENTURY....APPLAUSE TO YOU AND YOU LOVING AND AMAZING FAMILY....i truly hope everything works out for you all and i will keep you guys in my prayers....Have a goodnight all of you...

Sincerely,
Tammi from PA

Kat said...

After I read this post I got to thinking (try not to do it often hehe). What if there were a message board in Tricia and Gwyneth's honor where the devoted readers of your board to band together and pray, talk, worry together when the hospital internet goes down and we don't hear from you..... tee hee

And then people could also share their stories and post prayer requests. It could also have a chat function.

Of course, I wouldn't expect you to have the time or energy to deal with this so I would be willing to donate my time setting up, maintaining and moderating the board.

If you are interested let me know and I'll get to work!
mom2angelalex@yahoo.com

Sandra & Marcelo said...

Hi. You don't know us but we know exactly what you're going through with your little one. Our little boy was born on Jan 7th at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. He has been off and on the ventilator and fighting infections since birth but now he is doing well and up to 3 and 1/2 lbs. We also rely on the support and prayers from friends and family and yours will be will be in our prayers as well. All the best luck.

Curlyqfun said...

This is why I love your blog. You are encouraging, honest, sincere and forth right. Your family is being used by God in so many ways. And through you we can all help by lifting up others in prayer. I appreciate your blog!!